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Nigel Priestley

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Jane Bolton

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  • I feel so lonely. My one salvation is a Facebook page that I managed to find and it was through this that I found out about Ridley & Hall and am so thankful I have – prior to this I felt I was the only person going through what I am.

  • This guy is amazing he’s helped me so much and I actually think he’s not in his job for the money. He does what he believes in and that’s the difference between him and most solicitors. I’ve had several phone calls with Nigel also a huge amount of emails and even a court appearance from 1 of his colleagues when we thought things was going wrong with our last SGO and I’ve never paid a penny for his help just about to start legal correspondence to LA and I can honestly say he’s not charging the earth. Keep doing what you do best Nigel you change people’s lives.

  • Thank goodness for people like you

    Comment from Kinship Carers Support Group UK
  • “Being at the ‘sharp end’ Nigel you are more aware than most that we are the cinderella service… Thanks for your concern…” | “Thanks Nigel for being in our corner.” | “Thank you for all your help and support.” | “Thanks for all your help” | “Thank you for supporting us x” | “Thank you for always putting our case forward so eloquently, Nigel. xx”

    Comments from Kinship “Foster” Carers Group
  • All SGO’s are so lucky to have you in their corner. We knew how privileged we were to have you in ours. More power to your elbow Nigel keep up the good work x

  • A huge thank you to Nigel for making what could have been a god awful day not so awful. He was amazing. Nigel clearly knew exactly what he was doing and we have complete faith in his abilities and we both feel as if we can move forward a bit now, Thank you again

  • Thank you so much for being on our side. It’s been a very stressful process. Why it has to be so hard to do what is best for these children is beyond me. I could not have got through without your help.

  • When this process started we both felt so alone and scared, not knowing what was going to happen or what to do about it. When I found Nigel’s details and read through the website, I was reassured you would be able to help us before I even contacted you. We contacted you upon receipt of the care order papers and were immediately reassured. You were both so understanding and non-judgemental. Up until that point we had always blamed ourselves for the breakdown but you helped us see that it wasn’t our fault and fought for us against the local authority. We will be forever grateful to you for standing by us and fighting so hard for us. Its given us both a real sense of ‘closure’ and we feel able to begin our lives once again.

  • Nigel Priestley is my solicitor too. I have just had my special guardianship order granted on Wednesday. If he thinks something is wrong he will query it and, most importantly of all, he makes his clients feel valued. He and his colleagues have been brilliant throughout the last 6 months for me and as I have said he listens to you…… he doesn’t seem to be led by social services so please contact him. xx

    Contributor on the KinKids Facebook page
  • I think your solicitor needs changing. I see it all the time on [Facebook}. They use family law solicitors who don’t have the full grasp of kinship and these solicitors end up agreeing a compromise with the social worker whereas Nigel Priestley goes in both guns blazing for whats best for the kids x

    Contributor to Kinkids support group on Facebook
  • My sincere thanks goes to you and your colleagues, especially you, for my excellent legal representation. I could not be happier with the outcome of my case. It was such a difficult and stressful experience and you have handled it with care and compassion. How lucky I was to have someone that was truly professional but more importantly personable and human too. Most of all though thank you for caring about grandparents that find themselves in this situation which you clearly do and that is what makes the difference between a lawyer and a very good lawyer. Words cannot give my appreciation justice. Your foresight on all matters on my case was truly remarkable. I owe the success and victory of my case to your dedication and perseverance, which you showed throughout. I will always refer to your firm if the need ever arises that I shall need any legal assistance again. Once again my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

    Tuesday 28 January 2014
  • Words cannot convey how grateful I am to you for your help and complete competence on my behalf. Without you it would not have been possible. I am happy to report I have been granted Special Guardian Allowance for all three children AND it has been backdated to 7th Jan, when the order was granted. I am so so thankful and will sing your praises to everyone. I can never thank you enough, you wonderful man. After such a circus with all other so-called professionals. You, sir, are worth your weight in gold. Forever in your debt

    L.P. Monday 05 August 2013
  • You guys have been more than just representatives throughout the process.  You have been incredibly supportive and have always been straight-forward with your advice whilst allowing us the space to make decisions of our own.  I just wanted to let you know just how much we have appreciated that.

    Thursday 13 June 2013
  • Well, was first visit in court yesterday for possible Special Guardianship Order, huge huge thank you to Nigel Priestley and his team for all there help and support. Highly recommended to anyone who needs a solicitor.

  • Adoption breakdowns are extremely distressing so it makes all the difference knowing that Nigel truly understands and is there fighting for what is right, every step of the way. I was very impressed with the responsiveness and genuine concern shown by everyone I had contact with on this case, with special thanks to Jane who always has a kind word.

    16th August 2016
  • "Nigel was brilliant in Court. You (Jane - PA to Nigel) and Nigel always believed in us and that meant so much - you always did what we asked and went that extra mile. Thank you."

    Thursday 6th April 2017

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Nigel Priestley

Senior Partner – Community Care

Nigel Priestley is a Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a community care and adoption solicitor. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings.

Nigel’s work has been celebrated and he is a leading expert in kinship care, adoption breakdown and care proceedings. Recently Nigel won Lawyer of the Year at the Modern Law Awards (read more). This year he had been shortlisted for numerous awards including Lifetime Achievement Award (at the National Adoption Week Awards), Partner of the Year at both the Family Law Awards and Yorkshire Legal Awards.

He has taken the lead in bringing Judicial Review proceedings on behalf of children placed with Kinship Carers. These actions are to ensure that local authorities fulfil their legal obligations towards Family and Friend Carers and the children who are living with them.

He has been involved in landmark decisions as a result of Judicial Reviews he has brought. These include a successful challenge against Kirklees when they were paying Special
Guardianship Allowance at 2/3 the Fostering Allowance. In another case the Court of Appeal set out when children living with grandparent carers should be regarded as ‘looked after’ children.

He represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings. He has been involved in cases in the High Court which have been reported in the legal press including a foreign adoption and the making of Wardship Orders in care proceedings where the children suffered serious global developmental delay.

Nigel is a trustee of the Family Rights Group. He works closely with the Grandparents Association and Grandparents Plus and many support organisations. Over £750,000 has been paid to carers in respect of back paid Fostering Allowances as a result of actions in which Nigel has been involved.

Nigel has spoken at conferences organised by the Grandparents Association, BAAF and Grandparents Plus.

Nigel is concerned about the support given to adopters. He is a member of Adoption UK and advises adopters facing post adoption support challenges as to their rights.

Nigel helped set up the unique Twinning Link between Huddersfield Law Society and the Uganda Law Society in 2002. The link has provided legal resources and training for Ugandan lawyers. Nigel has regularly carried out training in Kampala.  The Twinning Link won the Pro Bono Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2016, and it was highly commended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2016.

He is a grandfather himself and understands the pressures on grandparent carers!

Areas of work Nigel deals withnigel-profile-awards


  • Won Lawyer of the Year Award at the Modern Law Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Adoption Week Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Partner of the Year at both Yorkshire Legal Awards and Family Law Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards (2015)
  • Won Legal Champion of the Year Award at the Kinship Care Awards (2013)
  • Named The Solicitor of the Year (Private practice) in the National Law Society Excellence Awards (2010)
  • Shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award (2008)
  • Law Society Highly Commended Solicitor of the Year (2008)